Our church "adopts" ten families each Christmas and strives to make some of their wishes come true. This year, the ten families included 28 children. Early in December we set up a Christmas forest and small tags were hung on all the trees. Each tag had one child's gender, age, and one request. Congregation members chose tags and filled the wishes. They brought back beautifully wrapped packages, food items, and this year, one church family even donated a brand new bicycle. I'm sure the recipient will be thrilled on Christmas morning!
While it would be perfectly natural for small children to wish big, it's actually shocking and a bit sad when so many of the wishes are for hats, gloves, socks, and underwear - the basics. Our members don't usually stop at the basics. They purchase what was requested, then add a toy or two to each package. We don't have a very large congregation, and our church budget is often in the red, but our members have generous spirits and big hearts. No child from our adopted families will go without wrapped gifts this Christmas.
We also have a mitten tree each year and the items donated and hung on that tree are given to a local shelter. There was a plea for extra food items this year too, so last Sunday we had an emergency food drive which brought in canned goods and non-perishable items to help re-stock the local food pantry which was running desperately low.
I'm very proud of my church and the members who so graciously share their blessings. In this season of giving, please be generous and share your blessings with others.